Faced with a rebellion in its ranks, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said the party was ready for a fight over the symbol and control of the organization.
Interacting with the media here, Raut also claimed that the BJP was trying to break Maharashtra into three pieces, and making a dent in the Shiv Sena ranks as part of the saffron party's conspiracy. He also hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde accusing him of trying to break the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party at a time when the state was struggling to come to terms with massive floods in some parts.
"We are ready for any fight, be it for the symbol or the party organization. A few MPs and MLAs may be leaving us. But MLAs and MPs alone do not make up the Shiv Sena," Raut said, adding Shiv Sainiks will make it difficult for the rebels to win any election in the future.
He reminded the breakaway faction of the assistance given to them by the party supremo Uddhav Thackeray politically, socially, and financially over the years. Raut also took a swipe at Shinde saying he had to make visits to Delhi as he was a "BJP chief minister". "I never recall Shiv Sena chief ministers Manohar Joshi or Narayan Rane making rounds of the national capital for cabinet expansion and other issues," he said.
Shiv Sena parliamentary party is staring at a split in its ranks with a breakaway faction set to approach Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla with a plea to recognize them as a separate group with Rahul Shewale as their leader.